Ximo Tebar: Goes Blue (2005)
Goes Blue is the third entry in Ximo Tebar's Jazz Guitar Trio series, which has featured the Spanish guitarist playing with such luminaries as Idris Muhammad and Joey DeFrancesco. On this entry, Tebar and Muhammad are joined by Dr. Lonnie Smith and, on three tracks, Lou Donaldson. Listeners will not find anything too challenging or surprising, but the performances are always accomplished and solid, as should be expected from the quality of the players involved.
The three numbers featuring Donaldson are obvious highlights. His opening wail on a slow burn version of "Laura is suitably dramatic, paving the way for his smooth, sensitive solo. Donaldson also appears on a fun version of "Midnight Creeper, which he first performed with Muhammad and Smith back in 1968 with George Benson on guitar. Tebar fits in nicely with a tart, exuberant solo. As always, Smith flashes deep soul with every note and Muhammad cultivates a rock-solid beat.
Tebar deviates from the soul-jazz underpinnings of most of the numbers with a lush, delicate take on Mancini's "Days Of Wine And Roses. His introduction is quite lyrical and contrasts nicely with the choppy rhythm the rest of the band creates when it enters. Smith applies some lovely dark colors throughout.
Goes Blue is a relaxed outing that features some great players in a casual frame of mind. It is far from essential, but still highly enjoyable.
Track Listing: Goes Blue; I Love You; Laura; Days Of Wine And Roses; Invitation; Midnight Creeper; Come To Me; Blues Walk.
Personnel: Ximo Tebar: guitar; Dr. Lonnie Smith: Hammond B3 organ; Idris Muhammad: drums; Lou Donaldson: alto saxophone (tracks 3,6,8).